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Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 11:31 AM

President Bush took a whirlwind tour of Hanoi during his trip to Vietnam, a 15-minute trip to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

Stephen Hadley, the President's National Security Advisor, admitted that the President had not come into contact with ordinary Vietnamese, but said that they connected anyway.

"If you'd been part of the president's motorcade as we've shuttled back and forth," said Hadley, "the president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles."


If a wave and a smile is 'being connected,' then the President *must* be on intimate terms with Jack Abramoff and Ted Haggard, with whom he's been photographed.


This is a president who has his audiences pre-screened, so he only appears before supportive crowds. Protesters have been confined to 'free speech zones' that are blocks away from where the president is appearing, and even the motorcade route.

Connected, my ass.

Mr. Bush addressed the lessons of Vietnam while visiting the country, but somehow neglected to mention that he and many of his advisors skipped class.

This translates to the blindingly brilliant observation about Iraq:

"We will succeed unless we quit."

It was President John F. Kennedy who stated, "This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, an error doesn't become a mistake until one refuses to correct it."

As I've said before, achieving a stable democracy in Iraq is more than holding elections. There are corrupt states that hold elections all the time, and the results are effectively meaningless. Our efforts to train the Iraq military and police forces have been foiled by rampant corruption and sectarian loyalties.

This is not something that can be corrected by additional troop strength, force of will, or browbeating the Iraqi PM.

We've been treated to three years of talk about strategizing and adapting and staying the course, but all of it boils down to the simplistic tautology of a president and his advisors who weren't honest enough to admit that they didn't know what they were doing. And, like a home improvement project that goes awry, now we'll have to look at the cost of cleaning things up and perhaps living with an uneven floor or set of ugly cabinets.

And the very real possibility that our caulking job won't keep the water out when the rainy season hits.

And speaking of delusional thinkers, there's the latest from Pat Robertson, who told one of his viewers that other religions, "... don't have a relationship. There is the God of the Bible, who is Jehovah. When you see L-O-R-D in caps, that is the name. It's not Allah, it's not Brahma, it's not Shiva, it's not Vishnu, it's not Buddha. It is Jehovah God. They don't have a relationship with Him. He is the God of all Gods. These others are mostly demonic powers. Sure they're demons. There are many demons in the world."

Funny, I've never thought of the Dalai Lama or Gandhi as being demonic high priests. On the other hand, when a noted televangelist calls for assassinations and wars, it does make me wonder where the evil demons are, exactly.

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